ChatGPT’s Access to the Internet and Other New Capabilities: Is That a Concern?

03 November 2023 12:18 PM

ChatGPT, which is an Artificial Intelligence tool developed by OpenAI, is being used for various tasks such as- writing blogs, essays, informative articles, social media posts, email templates, product and service descriptions, and more. A user provides it with a specific prompt or keywords based on which ChatGPT generates the content. It makes use of the data that is already there on the internet. Earlier ChatGPT was unable to access information and training data past September, 2021. ChatGPT didn’t have real-time internet access when it was introduced.

ChatGPT and Internet Access

In May, collaboration with Microsoft Bing was announced the objective of which is to give ChatGPT access to internet.

A beta feature “Browse with Bing” has been introduced. The added functionality will enable chatbot access the internet and generate information with the help of the web browsing feature.

Availability of the Feature

First it will be available to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users. As per the announcement, later on it will be free to non-subscribers as well. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman posted the company's official tweet. For any query of the user, the ChatGPT bot will be able to crawl over the internet for the latest updates on that specific query. Earlier the AI chatbot was not capable of answering any query related to current world events.

Benefits of the New Capabilities of Chatbot

Allegedly OpenAI is taking secure measures by restricting the chatbot from visiting websites outside of Bing’s “safe mode”. As per the new information-

  • A working Python interpreter will be available to the user during the chat session with the capability of downloading and uploading files. It will have the ability to code a piece of software for the use of a specific task that is demanded by the user.
  • The chatbot will be able to even create graphs with the spreadsheets provided by the user.
  • The chatbot will also have the ability to work with the images and run code to resize the images.
  • A new set of plugins will enable the chatbot access to computing and mathematical abilities to perform data analysis.
  • Actions like making bookings for general needs such as- restaurants and comparing products to set up orders will also be possible to be performed with the help of the chatbot.

Potential Concerns Regarding the Features

Along with the present chat function, this new feature will make ChatGPT a powerful tool. But various concerns are being raised which are hard to ignore as well:


There is no doubt about the fact that the security-related aspect will be compromised when an AI bot is allowed full access to a live internet connection. There is a possibility of users’ information being misused causing a serious security and privacy threats.


With the help of having access to personal information of the users, the chance of spreading misinformation also increases. Spreading misinformation can prove potentially dangerous on large scale and not just on an individual level. Search Engines have their own set of security mechanisms for content filtering to control the unreliable information but we do know that these could be made to work in their own favor as well.

Data Quality

The information that is available on the internet can itself be unreliable and the chatbot using that information to generate information further raises questions about the data quality.

Final Notes:

The swiftness with which OpenAI’s ChatGPT is advancing seems hard to catch up to. It is surprising the world both in a good and concerned manner. Undoubtedly, it will provide us with numerous opportunities. But the bad effects are yet to be figured out.

In an article in The New York Times by Cade Metz, a technology reporter, several aspects related to the technology were shared. During a discussion on ChatGPT’s potential capabilities, Cade Metz asked OpenAI CEO Sam Altman about the risk of it undermining human labor. OpenAI CEO seemed reluctant but he did share his belief that he could not imagine a world where human intelligence was useless.

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